Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bones....Calcium and Magnesium....whole story

In Dr. Perricone's book "Forever Young" he  goes into detail from pages 168-175 to explain to us that the strength of our bones does not JUST depend on calcium.

He tells us too much talk in the past as been on calcium for bone strength, especially for women, though men also experience bone loss, albeit at half the rate of women.

Emphasis he says had been put on our skeleton holding us up and keeping you together. So bone health and calcium has been put in this frame (pun not intended).

Perricone goes on to say this is one of the important functions of course for the skeleton, but functional health is more than skeleton strength alone. Bone health also exerts an endocrine influence on the regulation of sugar homeostasis (the state of equilibrium or balance), fat storage, energy metabolism, and more.

He then says - "If you really wish to be Forever Young, or at least as healthy and youthful as possible, we need to place a great deal of emphasis on maintaining bone mass during each decade of life."

Perricone tells us that research to date demonstrates that calcium slows the rate of bone loss - but does NOT increase healthy bone density, as is the popular notion.  He goes on to tell us that scientific literature reveals a WIDE RANGE of supplemental nutrients, in addition to calcium, can contribute to the maintenance or increasing of BMD (bone mass density).

It seems as we age the body process of extracting calcium from dietary sources and storing it in bones until it is released and absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, becomes less efficient.  The body needs in older age more calcium than can be provided by common foods. If we do not get it then progressive decline in bone health results with increased risk of fracture.

I have told you that when I was 64 my (Australian one I bought and it did not fit - a bad mistake on my part) saddle slipped on my horse, and I fell onto the hard road (it was a very hot summer and the dirt road had become like concrete); my left hip hit the ground and for a few seconds the smash and pain was so severe I thought for sure I had smashed my hip, at least a fracture. I was somewhat amazed that all I had was a black and blue hip that needed hot and cold treatments frequently for a few days. I said to myself, "Well all the healthy eating I've done since a young teenager, together with supplements as I got older, has paid off; I must have good strong bones."

Perricone says that heavy emphasis on calcium overshadows the awareness and documented importance of other minerals and proteins involved in bone tissue production.  Without protein, minerals would be unable to form the metalloproteinase matrix necessary for bone synthesis. Without protein bones would be brittle, fragile, and nonfunctional, and serve only as the structural scaffolding of the body.

He says plant forms of minerals could offer significant beneficial options. And he says some studies have also reported positive relationships between fruits and vegetable consumption and increased BMD in adolescents as well as in adults.

Recent cross-sectional studies showed good positive results with minerals and fruits and vegetables in older men and women (60-83 years).

Apparently the ideal forms of minerals for bone health appear to be those in a pristine natural "food-type" state and therefore the most "user-friendly" for the body - in other words, compounds that are highly absorbable, usable, and beneficial.

Then there is the importance of MAGNESIUM with calcium!

It is the 4th abundant mineral in the body, and so is essential to our good health says Perricone.
He goes on to tell us that this essential mineral is needed for more than three hundred biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and never function, keeps the heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps the bones strong. Only 1 percent of magnesium is found in our blood, but the body works verey hard to keep the blood levels of magnesium constant says Perricone.
He goers on to tell us magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. It also plays a role in preventing and managing hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Perricone points out that according to the 1999-2000 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a significant number of adults in the United States do not consume the recommended amounts of magnesium.

If your into sports, physical work, mental exertion, competition, and other stressors, all increase your magnesium requirements.

Perricone tells us that if your kidney function is not as it should be, it can significantly influence magnesium status because magnesium is absorbed by the intestines and then transported through the blood to cells and tissues.

Also Dr. Perricone says, chronic or excessive vomiting and diarrhea may also result in magnesium depletion. And he tells us that some medications cause excessive loss of magnesium in the urine as a side effect. Also, poorly controlled diabetes and alcohol abuse cause the body to loose excessive amounts of magnesium.


Perricone gives whole grains, legumes, and vegetables (especially dark green, leafy vegetable containing chlorophyll) to increase your dietary magnesium intake. He further says, fish such as halibut is an excellent source, as are spinach, black beans, and pumpkin and squash seeds.

He points out that it is best to take magnesium with calcium. I myself take what is now very common - a calcium/magnesium tablet each day. And they have worked out the ratio one to the other, apparently that is important when taking together in supplement form.

Perricone says if you have low blood levcls of magnesium, you need to know the cause. If you have kidney disease, you may not be able to excrete excess magnesium and should not consume magnesium supplements unless they are prescribed by a physician.

Perricone ends his talk on magnesium by giving more benefits: helps ease anxiety, relax muscles, promote stress relief, decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and promote a good night's sleep.


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